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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Noticed high blood pressure after doing gym work. Should I be worried?

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Dr. R.A. Singh

Emergency Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :2000

Answered : 2160 Questions

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Posted on Wed, 6 Feb 2013 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Question: Hi, I am 44 years old male, weighing 72kgs, 166cm tall, living in Delhi. I have never worked out in a gym but been fairly regular on brisk walks for about 45-60 mins 3-4 times a day. Recently I have joined a gym and have made 5 visits there of about 1 hour each. During these visits I have worked out on a treadmill, a cross trainer and some strength exercises for lower and upper body under the supervision of a trainer. Over the last two days, during random checks, I have noticed my BP reading as 149-98, 140-101, 135-95 & 130-90. I have not had hypertension so far and generally my BP measures close to 120-80.
Pl tell me if there's a link between my joining the gym recently and the hypertension. Should I do something about it or is it normal during the winter season in Delhi. Is there any particular exercise/equipment I should avoid in the gym which may be causing this condition.
For your info, my 75 year old father has been hypertensive for many years and has had angioplasty procedure done about 10 years ago.
Pl advise.
regards.....XXXXXXX
doctor
Answered by Dr. R.A. Singh 2 hours later
Hi XXXXXXX
Thanks for writing your query.
While exercise can increase your blood pressure, this should settle down within a few hours of exercise.

It will be helpful if you please mention the time gap between the recording of your blood pressure and doing the gym.

As you have a family history of hypertension you are prone to high blood pressure problem. You should follow some precautions like do mild exercises and avoid exercising continuously for long periods. Give rest to your body in between.
You should avoid those exercise which are increasing your heart rate or blood pressure rapidly.

Doing a brisk walk in fresh air early in the morning is more healthier than doing gym.

Monitor your blood pressure atleast twice daily, at fix time, for few days before coming to conclusion that you are hypertensive. This needs to be reviewed atleast for a couple of weeks before we can label it high blood pressure,

Also get an ECG done and get your blood tested for Lipid profile and blood sugar.

Also avoid excessive salt intake and oily foods.

I hope this is helpful to you. If you have any query, I would be happy to help.
Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Aparna Kohli
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Follow up: Dr. R.A. Singh 7 hours later
Dear Dr. XXXXXXX

Thanks for your prompt response.
Asnwering your queries:
1. There was a considerable time gap between my visit to the gym and measuring the BP. In fact I checked my BP in late in the evening, while I visit the gym in the morning.
2. I am a keen walker and used to quite enjoy my morning walks, but realised that probably I need to tone up my other musceles of the body so as to stay fit as I grow older.
3. I got my lipid profile done on 4th February, 2012 and then again on 8th Dec, 2012 and these are some of the results. The figures in brackets are from the Feb. report:
a). Serum Cholesterol - 158 (190)
b). Serum triglycerides - 170 (170)
c). HDL Cholesterol - 22 (35)
d). VLDL 34 (34)
e). LDL Cholesterol - 102 (121)
f). Total LIPIDS - 486 (550)
g). Total/HDL Cholesterol ratio - 7.18 (5.43)
h). LDL/HDL Cholesterol Ratio - 4.64 (3.46)

I did not get my sugar tested in December. I do not have a family history of diabetes, but I got my sugar tested in Feb2012, and the results were as follows:
a). Blood Sugar Fasting - 98
b). Blood Glucose PP - 110
c). Urine Sugar Fasting - NIL
d). Urine Sugar PP - NIL

4. We almost completely avoid junk/oily/spicy and salty food at home since my father is also hypertensive, and I hardly ever eat out, probably just once in a couple of months.

Even this morning, about 1 hour after waking up from a good night's sleep, my BP still measured 145-98 ! I have skipped my gym today beacause of this, but dont want to do that every day.

Do you suggest I take up some medication to bring it to normal level for now and then continue my gymming/walks and then quit the medicine once it stays normal for a few days?

Also, what is the maximum heart rate that is achieved during cardio exercises, like treadmill etc that is safe.

Thanks once again & reagrds,

XXXXXXX
doctor
Answered by Dr. R.A. Singh 2 hours later
Hi XXXXXXX
Thanks for your response.

Your blood and urine reports are within normal range except HDL. It is low. It is a beneficial lipid and helps prevent heart diseases.

HDL can be increased by doing aerobic exercises and taking Omega-3 fatty acids.

Brisk walk or mild jogging is sufficient to tone up the muscles of whole body.

Your current blood pressure of 145/98 is in higher range. You should miss your gym for few days and monitor your blood pressure daily as adviced. If it is again coming towards normal range, then you should avoid going to gym and continue your brisk walking.

I would suggest that you should first monitor you blood pressure for few days before starting any medicine because your blood pressure has raised after doing gym exercises and hope it will be in normal range if stop gymming.

Maximum heart rate which is safe in cardio exercises can vary from person to person depending upon the health of the heart and the blood vessels. It also depend upon you resting heart rate.

I hope this answers your query. If you have furthur query, please mention.
Regards. Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Mohammed Kappan
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